Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Madrid saw its lead atop La Liga grow to three points on Sunday as the club earned a 3-0 victory over 10-man Levante at the Bernabeu.
The Galacticos came into the weekend with a one-point edge on second-place Barcelona, but after the Catalans tasted defeat at Valladolid on Saturday, the opportunity for Carlo Ancelotti's men to exact a bit of breathing room at the summit presented itself.
They managed to do just that as the club cruised to comfortable victory on home soil.
Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid in front early on, rising high to nod home a corner kick in the 11th minute.
Real Madrid held the one-goal lead until the 49th minute when Marcelo took a pass from Ronaldo, drifted inside and whipped a shot just inside the far post with his weaker right foot.
The match was all but lost just after the hour mark when Levante was reduced to 10 men following David Navarro's red card, but things went from bad to worse when Nikos Karabelas conceded an own goal late in the match.
The Greek left-back attempted to turn a cross out for a corner in the 81st minute but inadvertently put it in his own net, capping a dismal day at the office for Levante.
Real Madrid improves to 67 points on the season, bringing the club three points clear of Atletico Madrid following its 2-0 defeat of Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Athletic Bilbao maintained its hold on fourth place in La Liga by getting a 1-1 draw at Valencia on Sunday.
Paco Alcacer had given Valencia the lead with a goal in the 22nd minute, but Bilbao earned a share of the spoils when Aritz Aduriz converted a 53rd-minute penalty.
Bilbao improves to 51 points to go seven points clear of fifth-place Villarreal while Valencia climbs to 36 points on the season.
Also on Sunday, Sevilla cruised to a 3-1 defeat of Almeria behind goals from Carlos Bacca, Daniel Carrico and Kevin Gameiro while Espanyol ran out to a comfortable 3-1 victory over Elche.